Faith in People

We have had problems, lots of problems, with the house move.  Throw in dentist and doctor appointments the next day and my stress level was skyrocketing.  By the end of the morning, I had lost faith in people.

As you know, dentists are on my top 4 fear list.  #1 Dentists, #2 Bulls, #3 Electric Fences, and #4 Doctors.  Fear by proximity… if any of these are close enough to touch you, pain will follow.

I started the day finding out my tooth was still infected, but I had bigger problems.  Like crowning 4 molars that have already been filled at least three times.

My good dentist retired, and I miss Dr. Bill and the fact he took my insurance. sniff sniff.

I shuffled out of the dentist office downtrodden and depressed of the future bills to come.  Next stop was the lumber store that Gerkin Windows said was a dealer.  Brand new store, super clean, and multiple locations in other cities in other states.

During the discussion to get estimates for remodeling materials, Ryan, at XYZ Lumber, kept asking questions I couldn’t answer.  “I’ve built 30 homes, how will you trim the windows if you add drywall…”

I asked about Gerkin Windows- his reply, “Those are for modulars.  We build real houses here.”  “Maybe you should go south (to Menards) if cheap is what you want.”

I left feeling like trash, trailer trash.  And angry because I always let people trample on me.

Faith in people…gone.

Fast forward after another doctor’s appointment and to another lumber store who did carry Benjamin Moore paint (to finish one side of the “new” house, well Ryan wouldn’t consider it a real house).

This lumber store sat between two brick industrial buildings, abandoned with boarded up windows.  This building didn’t look much younger.  The trains roared by.

I miss the store because their small size wasn’t visible from the street.  It was a place you had to know was here.  Locally owned for decades.  Multiple locations in towns in Nebraska.

But man- the customer service!  I was greeted (a real greeting) at the door.  Two staff helped me figure out my paint color, then let me use the phone to call the previous owner because I had the wrong name.

“Country Red” was my note, “Cottage Red” or “Country Redwood” were my options.  Good thing I called, I would have picked the wrong one!

Then Julie helped me with windows, storm doors, and she loves to salvage (and didn’t wrinkle her nose when I suggested reusing old wood cabinets).  They give discounts, so send her a list of supplies and they would give me a quote.

I left with a gallon of paint and a renewed faith in people!

And a couple free paint stirring sticks.  Free is good.

I need to tell my dentist that.

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House Contractions

We bought a house, a double wide to be exact.  I haven’t slept for months after purchasing it, I worry all the time, and now I have “house contractions”.  Do I think of the finished house sitting at the ranch?  NO WAY- I’m finding movers, contractors, electricians, plumbers.  Then I remember this feeling.

I remember when I was pregnant with ReeRee.  Type 1 diabetic, the doctors, the appointments, the planning, the prepping, the overwhelming-ness of controlling bloodsugars.

I never thought of a live wiggly baby until Month 9.  I was too overwhelmed with the preparation to think of the final product.  Then you get your first contraction- the practice ones (I can’t think what they are called).

Then you realize… oh sh!t!  I’m not ready for a baby.  Pre-eclampsiaat 37 weeks!  I’m not ready for things to go awry!

Now I have house contractions.  The movers have started splitting the house.  The 100 sq foot mudroom that was added on fell to pieces when they picked it up.

CONTRACTIONS!  AWRY!  AHHH!

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Note to self…

As a diabetic, I have lived with the fact that there is a good chance I may never wake up in the morning.  Like most diabetics, I have learned to deal with this fact.  However, I never thought about the actual funeral.

Newt and pupsRolling back the clock, look at the three cute puppies and Newt.  Buster is on the left, Torpedo is in front, and Buster’s brother (who we didn’t keep) is on the right.  This was taken back… geez, so long ago I can’t remember… maybe 2007?

Buster grew up to be a great cowdog.  He was more aggressive than Pork Chop.  He had only one master and loved Newt more than anything in the world.  He was timid, but it took a lot to tired him out.

Clouds and BusterUnfortunately, Buster and Pork Chop got bored while Newt was calving.  Dogs + New Babies + Super Protective Mothers = A Commotion of Mooing and Snorting of Dog Tails.

So the dogs decided to look around the country.  The neighbor called from 8 miles away and said they had our dogs.  I said they weren’t our dogs, looked out the window to an empty doghouse, and “well, maybe they are!”

Newt picked them up twice.  Then one day I was driving to work and saw a black and white dog in the highway ditch- nearly 15 miles from our house.  I knew it was Buster, but the car mauled him up and I couldn’t bear to stop.

I called home from the office.  “Newt, I think Buster got hit on the highway.  Can you go pick him up?”  I thought we would take him home and bury him (or at least lay him to rest in the blowout).

The next day, my coworker asked if Newt had “taken care of Buster”.

“If you consider taking off Buster’s collar and throwing him into the ditch ‘taking care of it’, then yes.  Now I have to see Buster every day, twice a day, driving to work.”

Note to self: Don’t put Newt in charge of my funeral arrangements.  I may end up in the ditch with no collar.

PS- this is not an invitation for a puppy.  We have too much going on right now, but maybe later this fall :)

 

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The Dear John Letter… reposted…

My dearly beloved,

I am so over you. Well, maybe not.

I have found someone new. Like, we just broke it off and I found him. It must have been fate last Saturday night. I still lie awake at night, tossing and turning, wondering why.

Maybe I still want to be with you because the entire world is telling me to break it off with you. And I am drawn to our old ways due to comfort, and the fact someone else said our perfect relationship was finished. My mind fights harder to keep your memory alive.

It’s been nearly a week. Mr. Someone-New is an early riser and we have enjoyed some beautiful sunrises that I never saw with you.

True, I may have bags under my eyes from the sleepless nights. But I am so over you.

Until I hurried to work this morning. I was late and should have left by 7:30 am! I started the engine and the clock came on. The digital numbers said “6:30”.

And I realized, I’m not over you. I want you back, Mr. Standard Time! My Someone-New (ie. Mr. Daylight Savings) gets up too early. I can’t stand his new sleep schedule- seriously who goes to bed an hour early!?! I’m so tired. Sure, the sunrise is beautiful in the morning, until the sun’s rays crest the hills and blinds my retinas driving to town. I’m NOT crying, just tearing up from the glaring brightness.

Who knows, maybe we can work things out, Standard Time. It might take a while to compromise on our differences, but I think we can work it out.

If you need time, I have time. Let’s just set a random date… say November 2nd. If we can’t make up by then, I guess it is over.

We had a good four months together.

It’s only been a week, and I miss you. Waaaaa!

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Plant People are Weird

There is a division.  Plant Science/Animal Science.  Crops/Range.  Corn/Cows.  Plant People/Animal People.  Weird/Normal.

The plant people have morphed from farmers planting corn to this weird, organic movement.

For example, my aunt gave me some dried fruit.  I probably would have ate more, but she said it gave Grandad diarrhea.

Not an image I want to come to mind when I bite into a dried apricot.  But I digress, this label was on the wooden box the fruit came in.

I thought, “Plant People are weird.”  As a cow producer, I could never made a label like this and make people want to buy my product.

Peach label

Don’t believe me?

Picture1

Cow people should not try to be like Plant people.

Just not quite the same, is it?

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Free to a Good Home

Free to a good home, because I love her.2012-Fire-pictures-040

Free to a good home, because I hate her.

Cat on screen

I’m not a crazy cat lady, but I do like cats.  I hate this one.

We call her “Hissy Kitty” due to the constant/annoying/ear numbing MEEEEEOOWMEEEEOOWWmeeowMEEEEEOWWW.

And she bites your fingers when  you take scraps out, trying to get the first bite before the dogs.

And she hangs on the screen when we eat supper, peering in at our table.

And she runs into the garage and I have to sweep her out with my broom… every.single.time.

The last straw, she hid in the garage after Newt parked my car in.  He didn’t notice Hissy Kitty and left her locked in overnight.

I know she poo-ed in my garage, I just can’t find it.

Free to a good any home!

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The “F” Word

ReeRee is the right age to start picking up things in the world around her.  We hadn’t encountered swear words, yet.

ReeRee, Newt, and I were feeding this weekend.  Ree gets quite bored riding around in the pickup for hours.

After feeding the little bulls, we headed off to feed the heifers.

Makes me remember warmer days!  When ReeRee almost had the bulls tame enough to eat from her hand.

ReeRee: Daddy, are we on the path to go to the farm?

Newt: THE WHAT?!?  (Background: ranchers do not like to be called farmers, especially in the fragile Sandhill ecosystem where plows destroyed the native grasses.  Don’t get me wrong, I like farmers.  My grandpa was one.  But farmers and Sandhills are like kerosene and fire.  Not a good combo.)

Newt gave me side-eyes in the cab of the pickup… can you believe our daughter said the “F-word”!?!  I could read it on his face.

ReeRee: The ‘arn.  The barn.  Are we going back to the ranch?

Newt breathed a sigh of relief.  The ranch, not the farm.

So far, we are still F-word free.

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Random Ranch Pictures

When I was digging through pictures, I found some neat ranch pictures.

Here is my gallery of Sandhill art.

Title:  Cattle Framed by Wire Gate (the cattle call this: Stop Taking Our Picture-Hurry Up and Open the Gate- We’re Hungry!)

Cows framed by gate

 

Title: Low Winter Shadow  (Newt calls this: Stop Taking Pictures and Help Me Finish Fixing the Hole in the Fence)

Windmill shadow

 

Title:  Stuffed Bunny Goes Feeding  (Bunny calls this: Stop Taking my Picture and Get Me Off the Back Before I Fall Off)

Stuffed rabbit feeding

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Oodles of Noodles

With the cold, blustery winds and chilly temperatures, chicken noodle soup sounds good for supper.

If you buy your own noodles, don’t.  Making homemade noodles is super easy.  The bite and taste of a homemade noodle will make premade noodles taste like cardboard forever after.

Here are step-by-step instructions for easy, homemade noodles.  This is my great grandma Emma’s recipe.  I usually double or triple the recipe if serving a crowd.

Start with 1 cup of flour.  Mix in 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Noodle beginningsYou are done mixing the dry ingredients. (I told you this was easy.)

Mix together 1/4 cup of milk and one beaten egg.

(Back in the day, Grandma Emma must have had bigger chickens and bigger eggs.  Her original recipe calls for 1 egg and 2 TBS milk.)

noodles AAdd the milk/egg mixture to the dry ingredients.  Mix together.

Flour the counter liberally.  And your dough and flour.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKnead a few times to ensure all the ingredients are evenly mixed together.  Be sure to flour your hands, too.  Or the sticky dough will stick to your fingers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFlour the counter again and flatten the dough.  Flour the top.  Now get out your rolling pin.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy 3 year old helper is getting the noodles nice and flat.  Keep rolling and flouring until your dough is very thin.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have found the easiest way to cut noodles is using a pizza cutter.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdd your noodles to a bubbling liquid.  If you don’t have a liquidy soup, you can boil a pan of salted water.

I make my own chicken broth by putting a whole chicken in a pot of water (cover the chicken), add 1 TBS salt, diced celery, diced onion, and sliced carrots.  Let cook on low for a couple hours.  Take the chicken out to cool.  Remove the meat from the chicken and add it back into the pot.

Bring to a rolling boil (not a sissy bubble here and there, but a REAL boil)!

Add the noodles slowly to the pan.  If you add the noodles all at once, they will clump together and you will have a noodle blob.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI usually add 10 noodles, stir, get the pot boiling again, add more noodles, and repeat.

Boil for another 10 minutes or until the noodles are cooked through.

DUMPLINGS: If you want to skip the rolling part, increase the milk enough to make a sticky dough (probably 1/3 cup of milk).  Drop by teaspoons into the boiling soup.  Done.  Dumplings are easier than noodles, but do take more time to cook.
Warm soup on a cold day… perfect!Snow mailbox

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Caking the Bulls and Mares

It was a beautiful day.  The only adult creatures left on the ranch are the bulls and mares (everyone else is enjoying a buffet of cornstalks).

The pasture is quite hilly and hard to get around in the pickup.  But the view at the top is worth it.

High view of hills

The bulls and mares only get fed twice a week, so they usually lumber up and devour their 18 pounds of cake.

Big bulls

This bull looks sleepy.

Sleepy bullNow he looks wild…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe mares look a little thin on winter range and cake, but they fatten up when the spring grass arrives.

Caking maresThe buckskin mare is mine.  She still has a few colts in her, but we are trying to get out of the colt business.  She is free to a good home- anyone?

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